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Rediff.com  » News » No free zone for Hyderabad: Telangana, Andhra, Rayalseema agree

No free zone for Hyderabad: Telangana, Andhra, Rayalseema agree

August 10, 2011 14:53 IST

The decision to strike out Clause 14(f) has been approved by people from Hyderabad, Andhra and Rayalseema, reports Vicky Nanjappa 

With the proposed deletion of Clause 14(f), Hyderabad will cease to be a free zone. This move will appease the supporters of a separate state of Telangana, who have often claimed that several crucial state departments like the police force are dominated by those hailing from Andhra and Rayalseema.

Telangana activists believe that the heavy presence of Andhra and Rayalseema locals in the police force hampers the movement for a separate state.

On the other hand, people against this argument point out that when the police force was dominated by supporters of Telangana in 1969, people from other parts of the state received no protection.

Telangana activists have now asked the state government to postpone examinations for sub-inspector posts that were scheduled to be held on August 13 and 14.

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to strike out Clause 14(f) and this decision has been welcomed by all political parties.

People of Andhra and Rayalseema have also accepted this decision as police personnel from these regions will continue to serve in Hyderabad, in spite of this clause.

In 1969, when the agitation for a separate Telangana was at its peak, the Centre had decided to make Hyderabad a free zone. The residents from non-Telangana regions had complained that Telangana activists were targeting them. They had claimed that the police was not doing enough to protect them as most of them were supporters of the separate state.

Another theory suggests that Hyderabad was made a free zone so that people from Andhra and Rayalseema could join the police force and curb the movement.

After the deletion of Clause 14(f) is approved by the President, 70 per cent of the posts of gazetted officers would have to be reserved for locals.

In the case of non gazetted officers, which includes sub-inspector posts, 85 per cent jobs would be reserved for locals.

Incidentally, the term 'local' doesn't mean an original resident of Telangana. Any person from Andhra or Rayalseema who has lived in Hyderabad for seven years in a row becomes a 'local' and is eligible for the quota.

If a student has pursued his studies for four years in Hyderabad, he too becomes eligible for the quota.

Activists from Telangana point out that the deletion of this clause would be a minor victory for them while the people of Andhra and Rayalseema can't complain about it, as their representatives have unanimously approved the move.

"This move will help our people get more jobs. They shall not be deprived like they have always been," say Telangana activists.

Vicky Nanjappa